This has been a trying year for Julian Edelman.

Viewed before the season as one of the leaders of a revamped and reloaded New England Patriots offense, Edelman suffered a season-ending injury before he even could play a real game, tearing his ACL in the third week of the preseason.

That injury required surgery to repair, and since having that done, the wide receiver has lived the often solitary life of a player on injured reserve. Edelman attends occasional meetings with his fellow receivers and frequently sees his teammates, but the demands of his rehab prevent him from feeling like an active member of the team.

Edelman described these challenges during an appearance on Barstool Sports’ “Pardon My Take” podcast released Wednesday.

“Rehab’s a bitch,” Edelman said. “It sucks. You go in, and you’re feeling decent, and then you warm up and you beat it up, and then you get stiff again.

“I mean, it’s just a process. You go in six days a week. You’re going in to work it — work on everything: your flexion, your extension. And then I got to TB12 Center after my rehab with the Patriots and do rehab there. Then you come back, and it’s a different way.

“IR life sucks because you don’t get to be with the fellas. You don’t get to go to the meetings as much.”

Edelman compared his situation to going to school with all your friends but not having any classes with them.

“I’ll go into meetings here and there when I can, but what’s best for the team is you getting healthy,” he said. “To help the team is the No. 1 thing, and if you’re doing four hours of treatment, you’re not going to have time to go into some of those. But I like to pop my head in.

“It’s kind of like class. We have different periods, so I’ll see them in the hallways and at lunch and recess and all that.”

The Patriots have done just fine without Edelman thus far, boasting a 7-2 record entering this Sunday’s matchup with the Oakland Raiders in Mexico City.

Thumbnail photo via Raj Mehta/USA TODAY Sports Images